2012 Creating course identity through social networking platforms

Panni Poh Yoke Loh

This paper will present initial findings from a student-led research project investigating the challenges in creating a sense of course identity amongst students.  This work is exploratory, informed by focus groups and one-to-one interviews with students on an undergraduate English course.  The research project derived from a lack of student use of Blackboard and the need therefore to examine whether there is student desire for a different or enhanced interactive toolkit incorporating social networking facilities.  The research set out to establish the type of interactive toolkit that would best suit student and staff needs. We also question whether it would be feasible for students to administer an interactive toolkit not only for them to build a sense of community, but also to engage in dialogue with staff to enhance their student experience.  

Bryson (2007) has written much about the fundamental importance of student engagement and its effect on student retention and academic success. Recent articles within the Guardian Higher Education Network support the notion of student involvement and combining sustainability into the curriculum by adding a sense of excitement and understanding.  The use of social media can be significant here, particularly in enhancing student engagement and building a sense of course identity amongst students. 

It is hoped the findings from this project will inform both students and practitioners, specifically in informing innovative change in course practice to enhance student engagement.

Link:  Presentation and blog

D7 – (EN22, EN11, EN28, EN56) 15.30